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Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536)


Etching by Anthony Van Dyck, first state (of five)

As the other figures etched by Van Dyck are artists, the portrait of Erasmus is a slight mystery. It is perhaps further evidence that the etchings were executed early on after Van Dyck conceived the idea to produce a series of printed portraits, and at that point he was slightly unsure about the form the series was going to take. There is considerable damage to the plate in the form of technical imperfections. Acid has accidentally penetrated the etching ground, along the lower-left side and right edge of the plate. This is possibly the result of the overheating of the plate before the application of the etching ground.

Click on the link below to view this print's record in the Museum's Online Public Access Catalogue